Owchinko attended Eastern Michigan University, from where he was picked in the first round (5th overall) by Peter Bavasi for the San Diego Padres in 1976. Over his career, he worked extensively as both a starter and in relief. In 1978,he won a career high 10 games with the San Diego Padres,along with posting career low average of 3.56. In 1979,he Appeared in a career high 42 games. In 1980,he was included in a six player trade on December 9 for Bert Blyleven and Manny Sanguillen.